Hong Kong Police have arrested no less than nineteen people in connection with a cryptocurrency scam that made victims of about 170 people through China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and then the U.K. According to the police, the fraudsters faked an app and built a fake web page to deceive their victims.
Police crackdown on Crypto scam in Hong KongReports made available by The Standard on Friday revealed that no less than 19 persons have been arrested by Hong Kong Police in connection with a cryptocurrency scam.
The scam successfully duped about 170 unsuspecting victims of nearly $11 million Hong Kong dollars ( US$1.4 million equivalent). The victims were not from Hong Kong alone; some were in other countries, including mainland China, Taiwan, and the U.K.
A total of eleven men and eight women with ages ranging from 18 to 31 have all been arrested for conspiring to defraud. There is the alleged mastermind of the whole scam; there were managers, technicians, and then promoters. The publication also quickly acknowledged that some of the arrested fraudsters were triad members while 10 were core members of the criminal ring.
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The police revealed how the criminals rented space in commercial buildings within Hong Kong to ease the running of their operation. They also went ahead to hire young people who promoted the scam on social media by showing off either cash, sports cars, yacht, and in general, a luxurious make-believe lifestyle.
The fraudsters would instruct the victims to make payments (cash or cryptocurrencies) into either of their bank accounts or crypto wallets. They claimed these payments would be used to invest.
The arrest and what was recovered in the process
According to Tam Wai-shun, superintendent from the police’s criminal division, he claimed that the fraudsters used a fake app and some kind of fake web page to lure and deceive people. He also noted that the accounts of the victims on their fake apps or the make-believe website only show false information. The victims are made to believe they are making huge profits.
The victims only discovered that it was a scam when they realized they could not withdraw their funds. By that time, the fraudsters had already disappeared with the customers’ money and cryptocurrencies. In fact, one of the victims lost up to HK$760,000, making him the biggest loss for a single victim.
In an operation that lasted two days, the police seized a total of nine computers, 128 smartphones, cash worth HK$1.4 million, cryptocurrency worth around HK$50,000, and a sports car in connection to the case.